On Sunday, road transport officials in India intercepted a convoy of 15 supercars out for a drive in Hyderabad. By the time the traffic stop had ended, 11 of the luxury and sports cars had been seized. Cars involved included those made by Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Rolls Royce, and Maserati.
According to The Times of India, the 11 confiscated vehicles were impounded on charges of tax evasion. In India, the so-called "life tax" applies to all motor vehicles, but each state levies their own rates. In Telangana state, where the 6.8 million-large city of Hyderabad is located, taxes are more expensive than other states.
The seized cars – estimated by The Times to be worth between $500,000 and $1.3 million a piece – were registered in states where the life tax rates are cheaper, the article reports, while authorities say that the cars had been operating on Hyderabad's roads. Authorities had been following the cars on CCTV for six months prior to Sunday's traffic stop. In addition to the tax issues, some of the cars had outstanding traffic violations as well.
"They have been living and playing in Hyderabad. We have enough evidence for it," said Papa Rao, the enforcement team leader who led the seizure. Rao had another message for those who might be bankrolling the drivers. "We are also requesting the parents of the youngsters to ensure that these youngsters do not speed." According to the news outlet, the drivers were between 25 and 35 years old.
In recent years, there's been talk in India of creating a single, country-wide road tax. While the move will help reduce confusion for car buyers, one of the goals is also to close the loophole of paying taxes in states with lower rates.
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